电子产品:生而被废弃? 分享到:
Built to fail? 2017-08-0796445

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Welcome to 6 Minute English, where we bring you an interesting topic and six items of vocabulary.
欢迎收听六分钟英语,该节目会奉上有趣的话题以及六个新单词。
And all in just six minutes, of course. I’m Catherine.
所有尽在六分钟。我是凯瑟琳。
And I’m Neil. Today – is technology built to fail? And are we throwing away too much technology and harming the planet? Catherine, tell me - how old is your TV?
我是尼尔。今天的话题是,科技生来就是被淘汰的吗?我们是不是扔了太多的科技,伤害了我们的星球?凯瑟琳,告诉我,你家电视多大寿命了?
My TV has just had its fifth birthday.
我的电视已经买了五年了。
And your mobile phone?
那你的手机呢?
It’s about two and a half.
差不多两年半。
So you do like to have gizmos, but not necessarily the latest.
所以你喜欢小发明,但不一定非得最新的是吗?
Exactly.
没错。
Gizmo – nice word. A gizmo is a small piece of technology – otherwise called a gadget.
小发明,不错的词。小发明是指小技术,另外还叫gadget小装置。
And of course I’m not alone in buying gadgets from time to time.They actually keep on getting more advanced – so people keep buying new ones.
当然一次一次买小装置的不止我一个人。小发明一直在更新,所以人们不停地买新款。
Technology also gets cheaper and cheaper.In fact, many gadgets are more expensive to fix than replace.
科技也越来越便宜。事实上,很多小装置修起来比重新买一个替代品更贵。
And this means that we throw a lot of gadgets away – but how many?
这就意味着我们扔了很多小装置,但究竟是多少呢?
See if you can guess: how much electronic waste is thrown away every year globally? Is it…a) 420 tonnes, b) 4.2 million tonnes or c) 42 million tonnes?
看看你能不能猜到,每年全球有多少电子废弃品被扔掉?a) 420 吨, b) 420万吨,还是 c) 4200万吨?
And I do actually know the answer to this once, so I’m gonna keep quiet, just for once!
这一次我确实知道答案,但这次我要保持沉默。
Ah, first time for everything!So, to bring us back to our main point.Is technology no longer built to last?Let’s hear first from Professor Tim Cooper who is an expert in sustainable consumption and production at Nottingham Trent University in the UK.
凡是都有第一次。那么让我们回到今天的主题上。如今科技是不是不再长久了?我们听听英国诺丁汉特伦特大学可持续消费和生产的专家,蒂姆·库珀的看法。
Sustainable, by the way, means able to continue over a long period of time.We often use it to mean able to continue without causing harm – like environmental damage. What’s the problem with mobile phones?
顺便说一下,可持续的是指能够在很长的一段时间内持续。我们通常用这个词表示能够持续使用而不造成损害,例如对环境造成损害。那手机有什么问题呢?
The classic example of this is the mobile phone, where, for example, screens are glued into the product. Now they know that if there was a screw there, the consumer could easily, when that screen cracks, which is obviously a very common problem with mobile phones, unscrew it and put a new screen on.They don’t.They know perfectly well that that would be a way in which mobile phones would last longer. They don’t want that, they want you to replace your mobile phone every year or two.
典型的例子是,手机的显示屏是粘在手机上的。如今人们意识到,如果手机上有螺丝钉的话就好了,当手机屏幕坏了,这也是手机经常出现的问题,消费者就能轻易地旋开螺丝钉,换一个新的屏幕上去。然而现实并非如此。制造商当然知道这样的话手机能够更加长久的使用。但他们不想那样,他们就想要你每年或每两年换部手机。
Professor Cooper says that mobile phones’ screens crack often – and generally when that happens people buy a new one.
库珀教授说手机的屏幕经常会碎,这时人们通常会买个新手机。
That’s partly because mobile phones’ screens are glued on rather than screwed on.Now a screw is a piece of metal like a nail but with a raised twisted part– and we use screws to join two things together.
部分原因是手机屏幕是粘上去的,而非螺丝拧上去的。螺丝是指小的金属部件,就像钉子一样,但是一部分是扭曲的。我们会用螺丝将两个东西连起来。
The verb form is the same – to screw – and the opposite is to unscrew. If you could unscrew a cracked screen and then replace it, there’d be no need to buy a whole new phone, he says.
动词也是一样的用法,screw(拧),反义词是unscrew(旋开)。如果你能旋开破碎的手机屏,换上一个,就不用再买一个全新的手机了,库珀教授是这么说的。
He thinks that generally, people have lowered their expectations when it comes to how long things should last.
他认为,通常来说,当提及东西能支持多久时,人们已经降低了预期。
Expectations is a good word – an expectation is a strong belief something will happen. Expectations can be raised or lowered.
预期是个不错的词。预期是指某事会发生的强烈信念。预期可以提高,也可以降低。
Or managed – to manage your expectations means to not let your expectations get so high that you then become disappointed when something fails.
管理预期是指不要让预期过高,不然当事情失败时,会非常失落。
Yes, by way of an example, Professor Cooper says that his parents’ washing machine lasted for 37 years. These days, they last between five and ten.
没错,顺便提一个例子,库珀教授说他父母的洗衣机已经用了37年了。如今,洗衣机大约只能用五到十年。
Yeah. And we don’t see electrical products as an investment in the same way that people used to. We now worry that what we buy today will become obsolete tomorrow.
我们不像过去人们想的那样,将电子产品看做是一种投资了。我们如今担心的是我们今天买的,明天就会成为废弃品。
Obsolete – no longer valid or useful. And also – he says we’ve become so used to cheap products that we don’t want to spend more on good quality.
obsolete(废弃的)是指不再有效或有用。而且,库珀说我们现在习惯了便宜的产品,以至于不想花费更多钱去追求品质。
So what’s to be done?
所以应该怎么做呢?
Cooper suggests that if we can afford it, we really should try to buy higher quality products.And manufacturers should put labels on their products saying how long they are designed to last.
库珀暗示如果我们负担得起,我们实际上应当尝试购买质量更好的产品。制造商也应当在产品上贴上标签,注明该产品的使用期限。
An interesting idea.Cooper says that over 2m pounds worth of electrical goods are thrown away each year in the UK. He calls it a throwaway culture.
很有意思的想法。库伯说,每年在英国有超过两百万英镑的电子产品被扔掉。他称其为抛弃文化。
A culture in which we throw things out much more easily.Not good for the planet either. So – will you try to keep your mobile for a bit longer, or are you already tempted by the latest model, Catherine?
在这种文化下,我们很轻易地将东西扔掉。然而对地球也不好。所以你是想将手机用得更长久些,还是被新手机诱惑了,凯瑟琳。
I’m happy with the one I’ve got, but I’m gonna protect the screen very carefully.
现在这个手机我用地就很开心,但我以后要非常小心地保护好手机屏幕了。
Yes, a good idea. Maybe this will help you make up your mind, though.I asked how many tonnes of electrical waste are thrown away globally.
好主意。这也许会帮助你下定决心。我之前问你,全球有多少电子废弃物被扔掉。
And I said I know the answer – it’s actually 42m tonnes, according to a UN report back in 2015. The figure could be a lot higher now.And as you know – my mobile isn’t very heavy – so 42m tonnes is an awful lot of phones!While we try to picture that, let’s quickly run through today’s vocabulary.So first up was gizmo - a small piece of technology – a gadget.
我说我知道该问题的答案,是4200万吨,根据2015年联合国的一项报告。如今这一数字要多得多。你也知道,手机并不是很重,所以4200万吨真的是很庞大的数量。在我们试着在脑中描绘这个画面时,我们快速浏览一下今天的单词。第一个是gizmo(小发明),指小的科技产品,又作gadget小装置。
Smartphones, smart watches, fitness trackers, sat navs – all gizmos!
智能手机,智能手表,健康追踪器,导航,都是小发明。
We had sustainable – able to last or continue. We talk about sustainable energy, sustainable economic development…
我们还提到,可持续的,是指能够持续使用的。我们可以说可持续能源,可持续经济发展。
The opposite would be unsustainable development…And another pair of words – to screw and to unscrew.
反义词是不可持续的发展。另一组反义词是拧上和旋开。
A screw is that little metal thing like a nail that we use to join things together. You can screw shelves into the wall, you can screw furniture together…
螺丝是指小的金属部件,就像钉子一样,我们可以用螺丝钉将东西连在一起。你可以将书架钉在墙上,也可以将家具钉在一起。
And when you move house you unscrew it.Three more: to lower your expectations.What have you lowered your expectations about?
当你要搬家时,再拧下来就行。之后我们谈到降低预期。你对于什么降低过预期呢?
Err, so many things… Becoming a millionaire - I don’t think that’s going to happen. Or I could say a company has lowered its expectations about performance over the next five years.
很多事,例如成为百万富翁。我不认为这会发生。或者可以说一个公司就接下来五年的效益降低了预期。
Yes – another one looking ahead into the future – I’m pretty sure my computer will be obsolete in ten years.It will no longer be used – it will be out of date.
没错。预测未来。我很确定在未来十年中我的电脑会被废弃。它将不能使用,会过时。
I just urge you, Neil, when you do get a new one – please recycle this one responsibly. We already live in a throwaway culture.
我必须敦促你,当你想要买新的时,对于旧的一定要负责任地回收。我们已经生活在一种扔掉的文化中。
Yes – it’s pretty unsustainable.Now, before your laptop or phone becomes obsolete – I suggest you check out our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages!Bye for now.
使得,这个非常不可持续。在你的电脑和手机还没废弃前,我建议你查看我们的Facebook,Twitter,Instagram 和 YouTube 主页。现在,再见了!
Bye!
再见!
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Question:
How much electronic waste is thrown away every year globally?
A  420 tonnes
B  4.2 million tonnes
C  42 million tonnes
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